Undecided Voters React To What They Heard Or Didn't Hear In The Debate The first 2020 presidential debate was loud and chaotic with both nominees — President Trump and Joe Biden — talking over one another. What were undecided voters able to take away from the debate?
NPR logo

Undecided Voters React To What They Heard Or Didn't Hear In The Debate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/918572982/918572983" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Undecided Voters React To What They Heard Or Didn't Hear In The Debate

Undecided Voters React To What They Heard Or Didn't Hear In The Debate

Undecided Voters React To What They Heard Or Didn't Hear In The Debate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/918572982/918572983" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The first 2020 presidential debate was loud and chaotic with both nominees — President Trump and Joe Biden — talking over one another. What were undecided voters able to take away from the debate?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I think it's safe to say performance overshadowed policy during the first presidential debate last night. So what did voters take away from President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden?

JAVON MCMILLAN: I feel kind of scared about Election Day honestly.

GREENE: Javon McMillan (ph) is a law student in Montana. He's one of the undecided voters we caught up with after last night's debate.

MCMILLAN: I think the biggest thing that I took away was stand back and stand by and watch the polls.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

McMillan is referring there to a series of comments President Trump made during the debate, telling the far-right extremist group called the Proud Boys to, quote, "stand back, and stand by." Trump also later urged his supporters to watch polling places.

MCMILLAN: I took that as a direct threat - along with other language like, they're coming to destroy your suburbs, and they are coming to destroy your businesses, your shops. I thought that Trump saw more value in his Black voters than he showed.

MARTIN: But McMillan says former Vice President Joe Biden did not do enough to secure his vote.

MCMILLAN: I don't feel like either party has Black people or poor people's best interests at heart because one side, I feel like, wants to keep people poor, and the other side doesn't even care.

GREENE: Zoey Shisler is an undecided voter in Tacoma, Wash., and was hoping to hear more about how the candidates would address the economy.

ZOEY SHISLER: I live in a city that the homeless population is increasing noticeably, even on my own street.

GREENE: But she feels Biden and Trump did not really talk about her concern.

SHISLER: The problem is is there's just constant conversation about the overall - like, GDP or the stock market. Is that really a good economy if people are not getting the wages that they used to and they don't have job security and they don't have health care?

MARTIN: And overall, Shisler says, for her, there's just a general lack of substance to help her make a decision.

SHISLER: All Biden has to do is convince me that he has policies that are going to replace Trump when he gets into office, and he hasn't convinced me of that.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.